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Central York boys suffer first loss

JAKE ADAMS
(Carlisle) Sentinel (TNS)

CARLISLE — Andre Anderson found the right formula in the fourth quarter and ran with it.

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Carlisle boys basketball beat visiting Central York on Saturday night, 67-61, in overtime thanks to a furious fourth-quarter comeback. It was Central's first loss of the season.

The Thundering Herd trailed 44-35, after three quarters. But the lineup of Deshawn Millington, Jordan Purcell, Paul Candland, Nate Barnes and Gavyn Barnes brought a spark the team lacked for much of the first 24 minutes of play, stifling what had been a hot-shooting Panthers squad with a flurry of turnovers and drives to the basket.

The quintet provided Carlisle (8-2) with an ideal blend of speed, shooting and rebounding, despite a clear lineup of post players and guards. Nate Barnes skied for multiple rebounds in the frame, sparking several excellent possessions on the other end. And when it wasn’t a defensive board, it was a pressure defense that forced six turnovers in the fourth quarter.

And with Jared Wagner sitting much of the frame in foul trouble, the Herd had an even easier time.

“I think they got tired,” Purcell said. “I think that was a product of them getting tired, and we kept running on them.”

If Central York got tired, Carlisle simply found more energy. The Herd struggled in the first half to slow an offense that Anderson described as “tactical.” The Panthers found a simple plan and exploited it: screen on the baseline for a corner 3. It worked early, and despite some heavy legs, they shot 7-for-23 from range.

The 11-day break clearly affected the Herd for three quarters. Ethan Houston provided a spark inside for a stretch, as did a hot-shooting Candland from deep, but the team hesitated to drive on the Panthers’ zone and appeared a half-step slow on defense.

But Anderson found the right formula in the fourth and didn’t waver, only subbing in Ki Barnes for a stretch during the final 12 minutes.

“Once we got that crew in there that finished the game, I thought they did well communicating, I thought they did well contesting shots without fouling,” Anderson said.

With the defense stepping up, the team’s star guards made a tiring CY squad pay. Millington and Purcell combined for 13 points in the fourth and another seven in the extra frame.

Nate Barnes, too, made some big plays, especially early in the fourth. Playing center in the small-ball lineup, Barnes grabbed several key rebounds, including a putback off a Gavyn Barnes miss. He finished the frame with six of his 10 points.

He finished with a double-double, snagging all 12 rebounds after halftime.

“They’re custom built for a team like Central York, where we can still get a few rebounds,” Anderson said of his fourth-quarter lineup. “Because, if you look at Central York, they do everything well.”

Carlisle went on a 13-4 run to open the frame and traded baskets after that. Millington tied it with five seconds left and Purcell nearly won it a few seconds later after the Panthers inexplicably tossed the ensuing inbounds pass out of bounds.

Purcell sealed it with the Herd up by four in overtime, driving to the hoop from the right side and drawing the foul for a 3-point play.

“I got scared a little bit because I almost lost the ball,” Purcell said. “Your team needs a basket, you gotta go get it.”

Millington finished with a game-high 20 points, while Purcell knocked down 14. Candland added 13 of his own.

Carlisle travels to Central Dauphin on Tuesday in a return to division play.